Gonzales, Louisiana is the Jambalaya Capital Of The World. Thus decreed Louisiana Governor John J. McKeithen way back in 1968.
McKeithen was a giant in Louisiana politics. He headed up anti-segregationists, built the Superdome in New Orleans (calling it ...."the greatest building in the world,'' and brought world-wide, and lasting fame to our glorious state via his jambalaya declaration.
Massive black pots of cast iron will be burbling away on the proving grounds of the Gonzales Civic Center this weekend as dozens of cooks go head to head in a jambalaya battle for the ages.
Will Scott Duplechein successfully defend the World Jambalaya Champion crown he earned in a wild brawl last year? If so, he will be the first champ to successfully defend his crown since Norbert Loupe back in 1983 (bear in mind that Loupe won a total of six world championships an array of hardware that will likely never be matched.)
Norbert Loupe was the Bill Russell of jambalaya.
Over the course of three days, dozens of cooks will compete in a series of heats designed to separate the wheat from the chaff with 12 of the most battle hardened Cajuns all meeting on Sunday afternoon to determine once and for all who the king is.
And if you make it to the grand finale? Rules of the event provide that you must use 60 pounds of chicken and 20 pounds of rice in that last epic kettle. And don't plan on bringing in a former champ as your helper either. It is forbidden.
Winner will be announced Sunday May 25th at 6pm.
We wouldn't miss it for the world.
Pictured: Lauren Victoria Blouin, the reigning, defending Miss Jambalaya 2014
Your 2014 Jambalaya Festival semi-finalists
Lyman Abadie Jr. - Volkert Inc.
Jay Alexis - Almatis Inc
Tyler Billingsly -Tee Wayne's Cajun Cooking
Devin Blair - Ascension Ready Mix
Tyler Bourque - Martinez Seafood
Cody Braud - Braud's Barber Shop
Roby Breaux - Price LeBlanc Inc.
Joey Cornett - Ledet's Auto Sales
Derek Diez - Jason Virdigets for District Judge
Scott Duplechein - Veron's Sausage
Brandon Elisar - RSG Enterprises LCC
Russell Gaudin - ISC
Doty Gautreau - Airline Glass Upholstery Inc.
Aaron Gibbons - American Pump &Machine Works
Mike Gonzales - Braud's Electric
Huey Jacob - Dove Group LLC
Al "Tunney" King - David Wilcox Insurance Agency, Inc.
Dwight LeBlanc - Coating Services
Larry Lee - Bateman's Ice
Jarrett Marchand - Dudley DeBossier Injury Lawyers
Shane Martinez - Krazy Kajun
Douglas McCrory - Dales Garbage Service
Heath Melancon - inoLECT
Laci Murphy - Krazy Kajun
Robert Reine – Russell Bujol
Jeffrey Rouillier - Philay's Catfish N' More
Jamie Rye - Setpoint Integrated Solutions
Henry Schexnayder IV - Johnny Berthelot
Jeremy Theriot - Ralph's Pharmacy
Vance Venable - Roland J.Robert Distributors
David Vidrine - Bourg Insurance - Dustin Cloutre
Greg Woodward - Kling Heating & Air